25 July 2011

Obama and Boehner Do Stand Up

I just listened to the non-event of the evening. Obama gets on the air and says "Washington" has a problem (going out of his way to insist that Boehner and the Republican leadership have been reasonable all along) and asks all us frustrated voters to contact our congressional representatives and counsel them to embrace compromise and moderation. Boehner gets on the air in response (let's set aside the notion that any time the president speaks the networks feel obliged to provide equal time to the Republicans) and he basically says that Obama is the problem. He then hummed the "Cut-Cap-And-Balance" mantra and whistled the non-reality-based ditty about how taxing the rich is job killing. One small irony is that Boehner played the identity politics card to the hilt - "as someone who has run a small business," he said, and "as the father of two daughters" he said. But what is not the slightest bit ironic is that the President has no plan - none! - except telling us to write our Congressmen. Are you freakn' kidding us here Mr. President?

What would I have Obama do? First, start by calling the Republicans what they are -reactionary obstructionists who need to be treated as such. Second, make it clear that if the reactionaries do not cooperate tomorrow, he will adopt the strategy discussed in this piece from The New York Times. In short, declare a state of emergency, set aside the legislation requiring Congressional approval for increasing the debt ceiling, and unilaterally increase it to a level that will get us past the 2012 elections. And invoke the 14th Amendment clause to justify the action. (After all, Obama is willing to buy into the expansionist executive theories of Yoo, et. al. in order to keep incarcerating people without trial and so forth. Why not adopt the approach for something worthwhile?). Third, and finally, sit back and dare the Republican House and the Republican Courts to do something about the move. This last posture is what Bill Clinton counsels and I (for once) agree with the man.

Of course, Obama subscribes to a misguided narrative of American political history as revolving around compromise and making nice. And that prevents him from adopting anything like that line of action. The inconvenience for Obama, is that his narrative apparently is at some variance to the historical record. This whole spectacle is simply pathetic.

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Blogger Stan B. said...

At this point, I have to ask if Obama isn't an actual Republican plant- although granted, at this point, the question is already moot.

27 July, 2011 11:25  

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